by Tom Weppel
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
And so we come to event that, in some respects, so many peoples’ lives hinge upon…The NFL Draft!!!
That’s right…the NFL Draft has gotten to where it really and truly has a huge effect on so many people, for so many different reasons.
Let’s start with the players, obviously. For the ones that get drafted, their lives will change quite a bit. The higher draft picks will feel great, thinking they will now be making a lot of money to do something they have wanted to do for a long time, but they will also start to feel the pressure and expectations that go along with being chosen by an NFL team.
For the lower draft picks, they will feel as if they have an opportunity to make the team and final roster, at least for one season. And for the undrafted free agent rookies, they will be signed by a team. Some players will get a chance to choose which team they go to. The chances of making a team a slim, but not impossible.
On the other side of the deal, you have the team personnel, which includes the Head Coach, the General Manager, the college scouts, and a number of other people that will be involved in the process of handling this Draft. It is truly an intricate, comprehensive process. Each team has their own way of handling the Draft. Some make their decisions by committee. Others will rely upon one individual within the organization to make the player choices. It even seems like some team owners, like Jerry Jones or Al Davis, think they have the wherewithal to still choose the right guy to bring into the fold.
There are many other people this NFL Draft will influence…from network people, to families, friends, former teammates, etc. It can turn crazy, without question.
Many teams have their own Draft board, including the Jaguars. This board is used to keep track of all the players and the other teams. It is very important for teams to know who’s doing what and who’s drafting whom…it can make a huge difference for all teams to not have the information needed to keep everything in check. All teams also are very busy on the phone, talking to players, agents, and other teams, all for various reasons. There may be trade talks going on. A team may want to discuss thing with an agent or player to make sure they feel good about possibly playing for their team.
And while so much of the attention is mainly centered upon the First Round, NFL fans should make sure they know that there are a ton of very good players who will get drafted in the 2nd-7th Rounds. I’m sure you might have read or seen plenty of mock drafts, with writers, analysts, and whatnot giving you an idea of who they think a team will take. And while that’s all well and good, nothing can be counted upon until the Draft really cranks up at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
As for the Jaguars, I’m sure they have an idea of who they like to choose. I’m sure they’ve discussed who other team might take ahead of them. I’m sure they’ve had discussions with other teams about trade possibilities. It will be very interesting to see what Jacksonville does with their First Round pick. We’ll find out. Should be fun to see who does what and how.
NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
The playoffs have begun and we’re seeing things start to evolve in each series. The main aspect we are seeing, though, is that the Lakers and Cavaliers are proving worthy of their #1 slots in each Conference. Cleveland is putting Detroit to bed, while Los Angeles is getting past Utah with relative ease.
The other series, though, are showing a little more of a battle brewing between teams, and it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. In particular, the Celtics, having been roughed up physically, might not get past the Bulls in the first round. Boston got nailed with injuries to their big guys, and its hurting them.
by Tom Weppel